In a story over at the Ottawa Sun's website, Don Brennan noted that the Senators GM pulled the winger aside. When asked what it was that he said to Foligno, Murray said, “He has to get some points, As I said to him, I’ve think I’ve tried to go to bat for him with the coaches. To make sure he gets the opportunity, ice-time wise and with linemates. I just want him to take advantage of that. That’s all.”
After reading some of the reader comments that accompanied the Sun story, I think too many people are reading too much into this and falling victim to a mob mentality. With the way that the Spezza situation was handled this summer, some fans are a little too eager to bring out the torches and pitchforks. This wasn't a hatchet job. It was an encouragement for Foligno to seize the opportunity laid before him. And it's not like his comments were made before talking with Foligno one-on-one. He was merely reiterating what was said after the fact. Regardless, I fully expect that his comments will be perceived as some kind of veiled threat that Foligno will be made dispensable unless he starts contributing with some points. (Note: With Jarkko Ruutu as an impending unrestricted free agent, I'd like to see Foligno slide into his spot on the third line next season.)
Personally, I think this goes beyond placing the offensive blame upon the shoulders of a young player whose game is better suited to a third line capacity, he was merely stated the obvious. Now that Milan Michalek is out for a week's worth of games to let the tendinitis in his surgically repaired knee heal, Foligno has an extended opportunity to make the most of it.
Instead of dwelling of what the intents and purposes of the comment, maybe we should be taking a harder look at how much natural offensive talent is lacking up front.
Brian McGrattan Rips Chris Neil
It's been awhile since Brian McGrattan made headlines for something that didn't involve substance abuse but the former Senators heavyweight took issue with Chris Neil for some late game antics in Saturday night's loss to the Bruins.
"That's typical Chris Neil. I had to protect that guy for three years when I was there. He'd do that and I'd have to fight all his battles for him the next time we'd play a team after he'd do something stupid like that. It doesn't surprise me.
"That's the way he does it. He'll do something where he knows he'll get kicked out of the game and won't have to come back and fight anybody. I've been around him long enough to know he does that. Then I'm the one who usually has to fight his battles the next time. It's typical." ~ via the Bruins Blog at Boston.com
Hey McGrattan, I get that you're trying to earn the respect of your peers by speaking out against the actions of your former team and teammate. For the past few years, Neil and a number of those affiliated with the organization have gone on the record saying that when Neil's not exclusively concerned about fighting, he can focus on contributing in other facets of the game. Why resent a guy who's actions gave you your first NHL break and kept you employed? Ah well, whatever. It's nice to see that you're making headlines for something that's unrelated to substance abuse.
Disparaît Vers Le Bas Le Brun
Last Wednesday, ESPN's Pierre Lebrun conducted a live chat and a few Senators questions were asked. Here's what went down...
Pierre, have you heard anything in regards to Ottawa and Edmonton talking/having interest in eachother's players? It is well known that Bryan Murray is a big fan of Dustin Penner. Do you see any deal that could work with Penner going to Ottawa? Also, do you know anything in regards to teams wanting Brian Lee? (Stringer Belle Ottawa, ON)
Pierre LeBrun (4:27 PM): Murray told me he's looking for a d-man.And yes, Lee is available but so far the GMs I've spoken to have no interest in him
Pierre, put on your Bryan Murray GM hat. The team is off to a slow start, the team has close to $15-million coming off of the books for July 1st. What would your strategy be for how to handle the rest of the 2010-11 season and what should Sens fans expect this summer? (The 6th Sens Ottawa, ON)
Pierre LeBrun (4:32 PM): I think you've invested too much $$$ in veterans like Gonchar, Alfredsson, etc. to pull the plug now. You're in, you have to try and make it work. You can't afford to blow it up.
Do you think Kovavlev's performance last night is a sign of things to come, or would you say that the goals he scored were 'garbage' goals, and he got lucky, and he is still the same Kovy from the beginning of the year? Thanks! (SENSaholic Ottawa, ON)
Pierre LeBrun (4:47 PM): I've got the scoop on what happened _ Kovalev confused the NHL and NBA season openers and thought NHL season started last night, LOLHonestly, expect up and down year from the old but talented winger.